|NBA GMs: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce trade a good idea||10.22.13 at 3:03 pm ET|
For the 12th straight preseason, the NBA surveyed all 30 general managers. Here are the Celtics-related results.
- While the Celtics-Nets trade tied with Golden State’s sign-and-trade acquisition of Andre Iguodala as the most surprising summer story lines, the C’s were among six teams receiving votes for “best overall moves.”
- A quarter of responding GMs believe Kelly Olynyk is the draft’s biggest steal — ahead of Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, Steven Adams, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Trey Burke. Likewise, 6.7 percent of the respondents think the Celtics rookie will be the draft’s best player in 2018. Only Victor Oladipo (40.0%), Cody Zeller (13.3%), Anthony Bennett (10.0%) and McLemore (10.0%) received more votes.
- Based on the GM votes, Avery Bradley, Kawhi Leonard and Iguodala are tied for the league’s fourth-best perimeter defense, trailing only Tony Allen, LeBron James and Paul George.
- Voters slot Rajon Rondo and Ricky Rubio second behind Chris Paul on the “best passer” scale. Paul also has the game’s best IQ, per votes, ahead of Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, LeBron, Kobe Bryant and Rondo.
‘I thought they made a great move because Garnett and Pierce only have another year or two of premium basketball left,’ he told the Boston Herald. ‘[Celtics president of basketball operations] Danny [Ainge] just pulled the plug while they still had something. It was inevitable. And, besides, I like the fact that when he moved them, he sent them to a contender. I really like that. Granted, they’re in the same division, but still I really like that it showed how he felt about Paul and Garnett. I like that.
‘As a player, you’re thinking, if you’re going to move me, at least send me somewhere where I can win a championship.’
|Bill Russell took different route than Wesley Snipes||10.21.13 at 10:54 am ET|
Celtics legend Bill Russell issued an apology through The Boston Globe following his arrest for carrying a loaded .38 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun in his carry-on luggage when attempting to board a flight from his adopted home of Seattle to Boston, where he is scheduled to be honored with a statue at City Hall Plaza on Nov. 1.
‘Before boarding my flight from Seattle to Boston, I had accidentally left a legal firearm in my bag. I apologize and truly regret the mistake,’ he said. ‘I was issued a citation by the TSA, whose agents couldn’t have been more thorough and professional when dealing with this. I really appreciate their efforts to keep air travel safe.’
Probably a lot smarter than the Wesley Snipes route: “My instincts are to wax your ass all over this floor!”
|Danny Ainge wanted Jimmy Chitwood role in Hoosiers||10.18.13 at 1:08 pm ET|
It’s almost impossible for the 1986 Celtics season to have been any better, but just imagine if they had Jimmy Chitwood on the roster as “Hoosiers” hit theaters that year. If Danny Ainge had his way, it would’ve happened.
“I loved the Boston Celtics,” Maris Valainis, the actor who played the iconic character, told the Beats & Eats podcast. “I remember we actually got to go to a preseason game when they were playing the Pacers. We were just getting started filming, the game was over and Danny Ainge was running off the court. We were kind of courtside, and he looks at me and pointed at me, and he goes, ‘I’m going to take your spot in the movie.’”
Seriously, just think of the added entertainment value of having Jimmy Chitwood calling the shots in the C’s front office. In 2010-11, they would have had Chitwood, Jesus Shuttlesworth and Neon Boudeaux all under one roof. All they would have needed was Scott Howard and Billy Hoyle for the greatest pickup game in basketball history.
Or, if Kobe Bryant hadn’t turned down the “He Got Game” role as he claimed to Sports Illustrated in the latest from the great Lee Jenkins, those 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals would have pitted Chitwood’s Celtics against Shuttlesworth’s Lakers. And my money’s always on Chitwood.
|Kevin Garnett’s camouflage capris could be yours||10.17.13 at 3:00 pm ET|
In classic Kevin Garnett fashion, he didn’t even pack his clothes when he got traded from the Celtics. Just up and left. Probably showed up in Brooklyn with a pair of mesh shorts, a basketball and a scarf. Oh, those scarves.
Those scarves might be yours at SportsWorld, the local memorabilia shop charged with selling KG’s wardrobe for $50 an item. Of course, you could have his Concord home, too, but that $4.85 million price tag is a little steep.
Besides, think of all his memorable duds. That Gino t-shirt. The suits he wore for his introductory press conference, the ESPYs and yelling at Ben Gordon. That Hawaiian shirt. His professor jacket. Anyone for tennis attire? A feather boa. DJ Lance Rock costume. Camouflage capri pants. All those v-neck sweaters. And cardigans. And the Mr. Rogers look. All amazing. All potentially up for grabs.
Something tells me the fire sale doesn’t include his $2,000 chrome heart hipster glasses, five-figure diamond earrings or six-figure Aire’s Traveler watch, but I call the frying pan he used to make those famous tortillas.
|LeBron James doesn’t get free agency vs. trades||at 1:12 pm ET|
Apparently, LeBron James thinks leaving for free agency is the same as being traded, since he’s equating Ray Allen‘s defection to Miami to the trade that shipped Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.
“There were a couple guys who basically [expletive] on Ray for leaving, and now they’re leaving,” the four-time NBA MVP told ESPN.com. “That’s the nature of our business, man. I don’t know what Boston was going through at the end of the day. I know Ray had to make the best decision for him and his family and his career. Doc [Rivers], KG and Paul did that as well. You can’t criticize someone who does something that’s best for their family.”
Dwyane Wade said something similar, albeit more confusing. “People say things about people when they do something when they themselves would do the same thing. It’s about putting yourself in the best situation, and at the end of the day we all do that. You can’t really say anything about someone that does it for themselves.”
This whole things stems from Pierce’s failure to forgive Allen and KG’s “I don’t have Ray’s number anymore” comments. Rivers also chastised Allen for leaving, so I understand calling him out for wanting out of Boston, but given their druthers Pierce and Garnett would still be playing for the Celtics. The former wanted to retire a Celtic, and the latter wanted to retire if he wasn’t going to be a Celtic. They reluctantly accepted a trade to the Nets.
That’s different than choosing the Heat in free agency. Allen made a conscious decision to leave Pierce and Garnett last season. Pierce and Garnett were going to be separated against their will this year. But I don’t expect LeBron to understand that, since he’s basically still defending himself taking an expletive on Cleveland.
|Be realistic: No comparison between Celtics, Red Sox||10.16.13 at 6:39 pm ET|
‘Baseball is such a different sport,’ said Danny Ainge, one of a dozen people ever to walk the planet as both a Major League Baseball and NBA player. ‘You have so many more players, and in baseball not one player dominates a game as much. In basketball, I don’t think there’s any correlation we could draw from that situation.’
For more on the differences between this year’s C’s and Sox, read this column.
|Celtics to unveil long overdue Bill Russell statue||at 5:36 pm ET|
The Celtics finally announced plans to unveil the long overdue Bill Russell sculpture designed by local artist Ann Hirsch in Boston City Hall Plaza on Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. — prior to the C’s home opener against the Bucks that night.
With Russell and his daughter Karen Kenyatta Russell in attendance, TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith will emcee the festivities, and the guest list is ridiculous.
There are the usuals: Celtics alumni Tommy Heinsohn, Sam Jones, JoJo White, Satch Sanders, Johnny Jones, Em Bryant, Togo Palazzi, Ronnie Watts, Rick Weitzman and Bill Walton; Celtics owners Stephen Pagliuca, Wyc Grousbeck and Bob Epstein; and team president Rich Gotham. NBA commissioner David Stern and his successor Adam Silver, Red Auerbach‘s daughters Randy and Nancy, Celtics legend Jim Loscutoff‘s wife Lynn and Warriors president Rick Welts are also expected to attend.
The pop culture icons: musicians Johnny Mathis and Bill Withers, Pulitzer prize winners Isabel Wilkerson and Taylor Branch, four-time Emmy Award-winning actress Alfre Woodard and human rights activist Kerry Kennedy.
And politicians: former Senior Advisor to the President David Axelrod, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Congressman Joe Kennedy III and MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell.
In addition to the sculpture, featuring 11 elements to represent each of Russell’s championship rings, a legacy committee comprised of Russell’s daughter, Heinsohn, Menino, Pagliuca and Bobby Sager established a mentoring grant program in his honor that has already handed out $50,000 to programs in need.
‘I am happy to see the Celtics embrace mentoring and create this program that benefits children,’ Russell said. ‘My lifelong passion is to help the mentoring of children and the biggest honor of my career was to be captain of the Boston Celtics.’
A representation of the sculpture can be found on the artist’s website.